NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences updated the application deadline for the international Bachelor’s programme in Game Architecture and Design (IGAD). Interested students should apply before 15th January, 2017.
Every year the programme accepts only 200 new students, while there are much more students wishing to enroll. New deadline will give NHTV's Student Office enough time to assess all applicants thoroughly.
IGAD received the “Top-rated programme” award in the Keuzegids HBO 2016 ranking. We asked Student Office to tell us about the programme, how to apply, and what it’s like to study at the university.
Q. The full name of your Bachelor’s programme is "Creative Media and Game Technologies / Game Architecture and Design". Why is it so long?
Short Answer (SA). Because we teach all professions within the Games industry.
Long Answer (LA). The programme’s name reflects course specialisations. Computer games are complex products. To create one, you need a producer to organise the process, a designer to develop the game concept, an artist to draw game levels and models, and a programmer to translate all of that content into the appropriate programming (machine) language.
We believe that all of these professions should be taught within the same study programme. Artists must be familiar with coding in order to create realistic levels and models while programmers must know the basics of design to understand how those models are meant to function.
Students from all of the different study routes collaborate on training projects and learn to make a whole product, not just their part of the work.
Q. When do students choose their specialisation?
SA. Three specialisations are available from the first study year. The fourth one can be chosen starting in year two.
LA. Students choose their study path during the application procedure. Some of them already know what they want to study while others choose their specialisation after the application interview. We recommend creating a portfolio prior to applying for the programme to facilitate this choice.
There are three study paths available to students in year one: Visual Art, Programming, and Design & Production. Artists study 3D modelling, texturing, rendering, drawing animation, and world building. Programmers learn about hardware technology, game programming, and mobile and social network technologies. Designers and producers delve into concept development, game design and production, interactive storytelling, basic programming, and business management.
After the first year, students can also choose the Indie Game Development (IGD) specialisation. This study path teaches students all of the disciplines so that they can create a game on their own or with a small team.
The first three specialisations prepare students for working in companies. The IGD path makes them ready to start their own gaming enterprises.
SA. Students work on training projects the majority of the time.
LA. NHTV Breda is a university of applied sciences. We therefore aim to provide our students with knowledge they can apply directly into practice. While there are lectures to attend, most of their time will be spent working on training projects. This approach to education is called Project Based Learning.
During their last year, students also have an internship and they work on their graduation project. Studying does not stop when students leave the classroom and the study load is high.
Our university collaborates with many local and international companies from the Gaming industry, including Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. These companies share their experience with us, helping us improve the study curriculum to match what is actually happening in the industry. They also provide our students with internship placements, facilitating the job search for graduating students.
Q. Is there a way to continue studying at NHTV Breda after graduation?
SA. Graduates of the Bachelor’s IGAD programme can apply for our Master’s programme in Game Technologies.
LA. NHTV Breda University offers a Master’s programme in Game Technologies which is perfectly suitable for IGAD programme graduates. Master’s students learn to conduct research and implement new techniques and approaches, reaching the next level in their profession.
After completing our Master’s programme, graduate can become lead programmes and artists right away. Bachelor’s programme graduates may need several years of work experience before being able to reach these positions.
Of course, IGAD graduates can also choose to enrol in a Master’s programme at another university. If it is a university of applied sciences, they can apply directly. If it is a research university, they need to complete a pre-Master’s programme first.
Q. What do students need to apply for the IGAD programme, other than a portfolio?
SA. Secondary education, good command of English, and sufficient finances.
LA. In detail: Students need to have a secondary school diploma comparable to the Dutch higher general secondary education (HAVO), pre-university level (VWO), or intermediate vocational education (MBO level 4) diploma. If a student has a university degree already or has completed a pre-university course, they may choose the 3-year IGAD programme (fast track).
The IGAD programme is taught in English and students need to pass an English language test prior to applying. We accept test results from IELTS (6.0 is required), TOEFL iBT (80), and Cambridge (CAE or CPE certificate). If a student was previously studying in English, they can be exempted from passing a language test.
Tuition fees are € 1,984 per year for EU students and € 9,107 for non-EU students. There are also several scholarships available for non-EU students which can help pay the tuition fee.
In 2016, the application deadline for this programme is May 1st. Starting in 2017, the deadline will be moved to January 15th. We only accept 200 students for the IGAD programme every year and we need the additional time to make a careful selection.
Q. What does a prospective student need to do to be selected for the IGAD programme?
SA. Pass an intake assessment and an interview.
LA. All of the students enrolled in the IGAD programme are selected by university staff. The selection procedure includes an intake test (available on our website) and an interview via Skype. We also look at the student’s portfolio as a factor.
We look for creative and motivated students who want to discover innovative solutions for the Gaming industry. They must be dreamers and entrepreneurs who love to make computer games, not only play them!
Q. Where can students find more practical details regarding the IGAD programme?
A. There is a large section on NHTV’s website containing important information about this programme, including examples of student work, stories from IGAD graduates, and additional instructions for those who want to enrol in this course.